Summer school in Beijing to be held in July 2010

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A summer school in Beijing for second year students will take place in July 2010.

Selected students will attend a three-week programme at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), one of China’s leading universities in foreign languages and culture. Courses will include classes in Mandarin classes and lectures on Chinese culture and society, as well as elective classes in topics from Chinese film to Tai Chi. Trips to cultural sites will also be arranged.

The opportunity is available to 15 students, five from each faculty, who have passed all first year exams with an average of at least 60%. It aims to give students with an interest in China the chance to explore the country’s cultural diversity and experience firsthand its culture and language.

Full university scholarships will be provided to cover the cost of travel, tuition fees, and campus accommodation. The group will be accompanied by a member of university staff.

Selected students are encouraged to become ambassadors for the programme the following year.

“The feedback that we get – it’s almost like a life changing thing; people come back and say ‘I’m so glad I went,’ which is great,” said Terry Bray, Overseas Programme Officer with the Overseas Programme Unit, who is responsible for organising the summer school. “ A lot of them join the Mandarin Society [and] some of them are talking about going back to China to study, [which] is exactly the sort of thing we want.”

“It was an amazing time being on the programme, I developed an understanding of Chinese culture and language and I made friends for life,” said Annie Kacperek, one of the 2009 participants. “What I learnt in China has become transferable in my life as a whole. We took something very special from the summer school and our time in China is a great memory. I would recommend other students not to pass on such a unique opportunity.”

Students from the 2009 summer school will be giving a presentation on 29 January in Faraday Lecture Theatre 1 at 1pm for interested students. The deadline for applications is 19 February. A process of interviews and short listings will follow with successful candidates being informed by the end of March. All successful students will receive a ten-hour induction in the Summer term.

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